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How to Build a Killer Presentation .pdf


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HOW TO BUILD A

K I L L E R P R E S E N TAT I O N
(EVEN USING POWERPOINT)

An eBook by

DESIGN, CONTENT AND DELIVERY

CONTENTS
There are more than 500 million PowerPoint users
worldwide1 creating over 30 million presentations every

DESIGN

CONTENT

Color 4

Sell the benefits

Fonts 5

Storytelling 18

Logos 7

Credibility 20

White space 8

The rule of three

Bullet points 10
Images 11
Layout 13
Transitions 15

day2. However, 99.9% of them suck!

17

21

DELIVERY
Humor 23
Tone of voice 24
Body language 25
Involve your audience 26

It’s not PowerPoint, Prezi, Keynote or any other software that
is at fault, though - it’s you. The fact that you downloaded this
eBook suggests that you want to build a killer presentation.
PowerPoint is actually a powerful bit of kit, if used properly.
Implement the tips from this guide and your presentation
will stand out from the crowd for the right reasons.

S i m p l e c a n b e h a r d e r t h a n c o m p l e x : Yo u h a v e t o w o r k
hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.
STEVE JOBS

DESIGN
Steve Jobs once said “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your
thinking clean to make it simple”. This statement is true of your presentation too. It’s easier to pick a
random color, Google image or default font and then mash them together onto a slide that looks like
it has just been massacred by Freddie Krueger. The difficult part is understanding which elements
complement each other and which don’t need to be there at all.

C O LO R

Our eyes are attracted to color, so use ones that are
visually pleasing. If you’re going to base your presentation
on a theme, then you should use appropriate colors. For
example, if it’s vintage, use pastel colors like duck egg blue
or salmon pink (yes, I learned those colors from my wife).
The difference that color alone makes to your slide is huge,

A PRESENTATION
THAT REFLECTS YOUR
COMPANY’S BRAND
IDENTITY LOOKS MORE
PROFESSIONAL AND IS
EASILY IDENTIFIABLE.

so if you’re unsure which colors work well together, try an
online color tool such as paletton.com or coolors.co to build
a palette.
Colors can be a great way to emphasize a key point such

This slide is easy to read and fits with the ‘vintage’ theme.

as a statistic or a certain keyword. Below I’ve used green to
draw the audience to the stand out figure.

When creating a presentation for your company you will
need to ensure that your color scheme is on brand. If you
are unsure about the correct colors, contact your marketing
department who I’m sure will be happy to help.

Although the same design, this one looks like it could give
you an epileptic fit.

Fonts.
A LIST OF FONTS TO AVOID:
Tahoma
Calibri
Arial
Verdana
Courier New
Times New Roman
Trebuchet MS
Lucida Console
Comic Sans MS
Like colors you need to choose a font that is relevant to
your theme. Serif fonts (decorative flick on characters) are
generally considered traditional, whereas Sans Serif (no
decorative flicks) are more modern.
But - and it’s a big but - never use the standard fonts like
Comic Sans or Times New Roman. The moment you do,
you render your presentation useless (in my opinion). It
suggests a lack of effort and competency and makes the
information much harder to take in.

There are thousands of free fonts available to download so
there is no excuse for you to use any of the above. Simply
Google ‘free fonts’ and you will be presented with a vast
array of websites.
Used correctly, fonts can become part of the design
meaning you don’t need to go and find an image or can be
used to complement your image. Usually it’s best practice
to use one font for a heading and another for body text.

AVOID BOLDING OR
CAPITALIZING BODY
TEXT AS IT MAKES IT
DIFFICULT TO READ.

By using a strong title font and a much lighter body text it
differentiates between the two.

COMPELLING TITLE
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer
adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor.
Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et
magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus
mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque
eu, pretium quis, sem.

WA R N I N G
If you send someone a PowerPoint presentation and they
don’t have your font installed then it may substitute it for a
standard font such as Arial. If you’re using a PC then you can
embed your fonts by following this article. If you’re a Mac
user (like me) then unfortunately this is not possible and
you’ll have to either save your file as a PDF or ensure the
recipient has the correct fonts installed on their computer.

LO G O S

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away I stumbled across
a presentation that a colleague had created that had five
logos on the same slide. In my opinion, one is too many.
Your audience knows what company you work for so you
don’t need to remind them on every slide. All you‘re doing
is taking up valuable presentation space, giving your slide a
‘cluttered’ appearance.
But the worst crime you can make with your logo is using a
low resolution image that has lost its aspect ratio.

How the logo should look.

A logo massacre!

W H I T E S PAC E

WHITE SPACE...

...IS GOOD!

THE CLEANER THE BETTER.

IT’S EASIER TO READ AND NICER TO SEE.

The design of your presentation contributes as much as the

Top tips to reduce text on a page:

content itself. To create a beautiful presentation, you have
to keep simplicity at the forefront of your mind. The easiest

One point per slide

way to make any presentation look awesome is to make

Shorten sentences to a single word

sure you have lots of space between content and you align

Use a picture instead of words

everything to keep it nice and tidy – this is known as ‘white

Be merciless and cut out everything that’s not needed

“ Le s s i nfo r m a t i o n
means more time for
i n t e r a c t i o n .”

space’.
Just remember that you’re giving a presentation, not a
You don’t need to vomit every piece of information onto a

document. You want your audience to listen to what you

single slide. A good trick is to add one main point per slide.

have to say, not read what you’re saying from a slide. If

This helps you with timing and prevents your audience from

they’re reading then they’re not paying attention to you so

skipping ahead. Your audience will thank you for it too as it’s

it begs the question, what’s the point of you being there?

easier to digest one point at a time.
If they’re reading everything you’re saying then what’s the
point of you being there?

“The average PowerPoint
presentation has 40
w o r d s o n e a c h s l i d e 3 .”


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